23 Dips, Guacamoles, and Salsas to Make for Super Bowl Sunday

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[Photographs: Joshua Bousel, Vicky Wasik, Morgan Eisenberg, J. Kenji López-Alt]

Like finger foods in general, dips are a natural choice for a Super Bowl party because of how easy they are to eat on the couch. But they have other advantages, too: They're easy to make in large quantities, and light enough to eat for a couple hours straight. If I showed up to a party to watch the game and was met with nothing more than a spread of dips, I'd be perfectly happy.

The challenge, then, is deciding which ones to serve. Guacamole is a must, either a simple one or a more flavorful variation. Salsa (red and green, please) is another obvious choice. And of course you need some cheese—you could go with a classic nacho cheese sauce, or opt for something more refined, like a baked goat cheese dip. Keep reading to find all of these, plus the rest of our 23 favorite Super Bowl dip recipes.

Salsas

Classic Pico de Gallo

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

An easy way to elevate chips and salsa is to ditch the jarred stuff and make your own. This pico de gallo, made with tomatoes, onions, chilies, and cilantro, is a particularly refreshing option. Stay away from full-size tomatoes this time of year—cherry, plum, or Roma are better choices.

Get the recipe for Classic Pico de Gallo »

Roasted-Tomato Salsa

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

There's nothing wrong with making salsa with raw tomatoes, but taking the time to roast them deepens their flavor and brings out a little extra sweetness. And while the oven's going, you might as well broil the jalapeños, onions, and garlic, too. The result is a smokier salsa with just the right amount of heat (cooking the peppers tames them slightly).

Get the recipe for Roasted-Tomato Salsa »

Charred Salsa Verde

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This smokey salsa verde shows that broiling works just as well for tomatillos as it does for tomatoes. To further intensify the flavor of the salsa, we pour it into a smoking hot pan after blending. Salsa verde is supposed to be tart, but if the tomatillos are especially puckering you might want to add a dash of agave for balance.

Get the recipe for Charred Salsa Verde »

Basic Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Salsa)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This more traditional salsa verde is made by simmering the tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion before blending with cilantro and salt and finishing with lime juice. Salsa verde is more than a dip—it's a versatile sauce, so make a big batch and use the extras for steak and corn salad or chilaquiles.

Get the recipe for Basic Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Salsa) »

Salsa Ketchup

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

This recipe combines two of the country's favorite dips: salsa and ketchup. The two complement each other perfectly, with the chopped tomatoes in the salsa enhancing the texture of the ketchup and the sweetness of the ketchup balancing out the intense flavor of the chili-, garlic, and cayenne-spiked salsa.

Get the recipe for Salsa Ketchup »

Guacamoles

The Best Basic Guacamole

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for guacamole, so you should absolutely make it part of your spread. This version keeps things simple: We pound onion, serrano pepper, cilantro, and lime juice in a mortar and pestle, then add avocado. Mashing the avocados with a whisk gives the guac a great texture—mostly creamy, but with some bigger chunks for contrast.

Get the recipe for The Best Basic Guacamole »

Guacamole With Roasted Garlic

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

I'm happy to stop at basic guacamole, but if you want to try something a little unusual, try this garlicky version. We rub a head of garlic with olive oil and roast it to get a softer, sweeter flavor, then we pound the cloves into a paste and mix them into the guacamole.

Get the recipe for Guacamole With Roasted Garlic »

Guacamole With Roasted Tomatillos

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Here we take our basic guacamole and give it a salsa verde-inspired twist, flavoring the avocado with a purée of charred tomatillos, garlic, onion, and serrano. If you think regular guacamole is too boring, this tart, spicy variation might be for you.

Get the recipe for Guacamole With Roasted Tomatillos »

Guacamole With Charred Corn, Black Beans, and Scallions

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This recipe bulks the guacamole up into something more substantial by adding black beans, corn, and green onions. Canned black beans are totally fine here, as is out-of-season corn—the kernels get charred in a skillet, which gives them plenty of flavor.

Get the recipe for Guacamole With Charred Corn, Black Beans, and Scallions »

Guacamole With Jicama and Mango

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Maybe our most unusual guacamole recipe, this one pairs the avocado with crisp diced jicama and sweet mango. Fruity and refreshing, the dip is a good alternative to some of the heavier foods that you'll likely be eating during the game.

Get the recipe for Guacamole With Jicama and Mango »

Cheese Dips

Cheese Sauce for Cheese Fries and Nachos

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

My number one guilty pleasure is without a doubt nacho cheese sauce—the more unnaturally yellow and shiny the better. This version is just as satisfying but a little bit less guilt-inducing because it's made with unprocessed cheese. To replicate the consistency of cheese sauce made with American or Velveeta, we use a mixture of evaporated milk and cornstarch.

Get the recipe for Cheese Sauce for Cheese Fries and Nachos »

Taco Queso Dip

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Straight cheese sauce is great for burgers and fries, but for dipping chips I prefer something heartier. Enter this dip, which distills a whole taco night into one bowl. The base is equal parts Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar, and ground beef, plus sour cream for a tangy edge. We amp up the taco flavor with oregano, cumin, chili powder, jalapeño, onions, and garlic.

Get the recipe for Taco Queso Dip »

Gooey Cheeseburger Dip

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

If we're going to make tacos into cheese dip, then why not burgers too? Traditional cheeseburger dip is made with Velveeta, Ro-Tel, and ground beef. Rather than Velveeta, we base the dip on a blend of American cheese, sharp cheddar, evaporated milk, and cornstarch similar to our cheese sauce. Since Ro-Tel isn't available everywhere, we go with a homemade mix of tomatoes and roasted chilies.

Get the recipe for Gooey Cheeseburger Dip »

Chorizo, Mushroom, and Onion Queso

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

This chorizo-laden cheese dip is made with Oaxacan cheese, which gives it a pleasantly string texture. A small handful of grated Monterey Jack adds some heat to the queso. The real secret is mixing in earthy chopped mushrooms—we use shiitakes, but feel free to use more affordable creminis.

Get the recipe for Chorizo, Mushroom, and Onion Queso »

Green Chili Queso Dip

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

If I'm eating a green chili queso dip, I want to really taste the chilies—especially if it's made with Hatch chilies rather than poblanos. This means keeping the other ingredients relatively subtle so as to not overpower the peppers. We like to use equal amounts of Monterey Jack and white American cheeses, plus just a pinch of cayenne.

Get the recipe for Green Chili Queso Dip »

Pimento Cheese Dip

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

This sauce tastes just like a melted, chip-friendly version of pimento cheese. We make it like our basic cheese sauce, but with the additions of mayo, sour cream, and peppers. Jarred pimentos work fine and keep the dip super easy, but for the best flavor char, peel, and chop your own fresh red peppers.

Get the recipe for Pimento Cheese Dip »

French Onion Soup Cheese Dip

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Thanks to sweet caramelized onions, sharp Gruyère cheese, savory Worcestershire sauce, and aromatic thyme, this dip ends up tasting remarkably similar to the French bistro classic it's inspired by. If it comes out thicker than you'd like, just add more evaporated milk.

Get the recipe for French Onion Soup Cheese Dip »

Beer Cheese

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Our beer cheese recipe uses robust brown ale for a nice bitterness, which is balanced by Dijon, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Soft pretzels are the most traditional accompaniment, but this dip tastes awesome on just about everything.

Get the recipe for Beer Cheese »

7-Layer Buffalo Chicken Dip

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[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

This recipe takes the Buffalo sauce, chicken, and cream cheese found in a standard Buffalo chicken dip and gives them the seven-layer treatment by adding refried beans, crispy bacon, pepper jack cheese, blue cheese crumbles, and scallions. We cut the cream cheese with Ranch and the beans with Buffalo sauce—not only does this add flavor, but it keeps the dip thin enough to actually get a chip into.

Get the recipe for 7-Layer Buffalo Chicken Dip »

Slow-Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu Dip

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[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

This chicken Cordon Bleu-inspired dip is easy to make, but if you're watching the game on the West Coast you're going to have to get started pretty early to have it ready for kickoff. Rich and thick, it's made with cream cheese, Swiss, shredded chicken, and diced ham. Keep the lid closed during cooking—if you peak you'll let out steam and the dip will get dry.

Get the recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu Dip »

Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip

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[Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

Significantly more elegant than typical Game Day fare, this warm dip is made with whipped goat cheese, cream cheese, and honey and topped with strawberries and basil that have been coated in a tangy balsamic reduction. Since the balsamic is reduced down to a glaze, there's nothing wrong with using a cheaper bottle.

Get the recipe for Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip »

Other Dips

Fully Loaded Vegan Queso Dip

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

One of the absolute best cheese dips I've ever had doesn't contain a single shred of cheese—in fact, it's totally vegan. It starts with our vegan nacho cheese sauce, which is remarkably creamy thanks to potatoes, cashews, almond milk, and vegetable shortening. We top the sauce with homemade vegan chorizo, beans, Ro-Tel (if you can get it), and fresh vegetables.

Get the recipe for Fully Loaded Vegan Queso Dip »

Creamy Shrimp Dip With Shallots, Dill, and Lemon

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Home cooks tend to be a little scared of seafood, so shrimp dip might sound more intimidating than it is. But with our baking soda trick and foolproof poaching technique (or sous vide) it's easy to cook the shrimp perfectly. After that, all you have to do is chop the shrimp up and mix them with mayo, sour cream, and a variety of herbs and aromatics.

Get the recipe for Creamy Shrimp Dip With Shallots, Dill, and Lemon »